The Strategic Technologies for the Army Report (STAR) explores the implications of new or anticipated technologies to the ways in which the U.S. Army will be prepared to fight during the next 30 years. The STAR main report is in part a summation and culmination of findings made in 18 other STAR reports, each of which focused on a smaller area within the broad scope of the study as a whole. The main report also presents the analyses and conclusions of a particular group, the Study Committee on STAR, concerning not just the subjects addressed in the detailed auxiliary reports but also certain broader issues. Finally, in addition to identifying which technology areas will most likely be important to ground warfare, it recommends a technology management strategy and projects some probable consequences of technology for the Army's force structure and strategy.
Chapter 1 introduces the report with a broad portrait of the environment the Army is likely to be facing in the next 30 years. Chapter 2 uses systems concepts to envision ways that the Army might use advanced technology in its principal mission areas. In Chapter 3, future prospects for individual technologies of relevance to Army applications are forecast, based on an assessment of current research and development (R&D) work in each area and expected advances. Chapter 4 describes a short list of specific technologies selected by the STAR study participants for their potentially high payoff for the Army. It also relates the various technologies forecast in Chapter 3 to key systems presented in Chapter 2. The STAR Committee's technology management recommendations are presented in Chapter 5.
INTRODUCTION: THE FUTURE ENVIRONMENT (CHAPTER 1)
How the Army uses technology in the future will be influenced by five major factors:
an expanding number of technology options, as the pace of scientific and technological progress continues to accelerate;
changing military obligations, as the past scenario of mid-European conflict with the Soviet Union is replaced by a broad spectrum of possible contingency operations in any region of the world, ranging from small actions like that in Grenada to major confrontations with a heavily armed army like the Persian Gulf war with Iraq;
diminishing funds for advanced technologies, as shifts in national priorities and a changing world economy increase the pressure to curtail military spending;
closer interservice cooperation in developing military technology and systems, in response to all three of the preceding factors; and
globalization of commerce, which means the United States can no longer take for granted an unchallengeable technological advantage on the battlefield.
To respond in this environment, the Army will need the flexibility to reconfigure units rapidly for maximum effectiveness in a particular situation. The Army must be able to deploy forces rapidly anywhere in the world, while ensuring that those forces have the firepower to hold ground against an opposing force that may be larger and well armed. Real-time intelligence will be crucial to "winning the information war." Dependence on the other services and on reserves and national guard units must be planned, practiced, and coordinated so that the capabilities of deployable active Army units are enhanced rather than diminished by that dependency.
SYSTEM APPLICATIONS OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES (CHAPTER 2)
Concepts for Army systems using advanced technologies are discussed under five major headings: systems to win the information war, integrated support for the soldier, systems to enhance combat
power and mobility, air and ballistic missile defense, and systems for combat services support.
Systems to Win the Information War
C3I/RISTA is the term used here to embrace the entire range of information-gathering functions included under the acronyms C3I (command, control, communication, and intelligence) and RISTA (reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition). In the future a highly networked system will be needed to allow integration of these functions. The sensor segment of C3I/RISTA will include large numbers of optical, infrared, radar, acoustic, and radio-intercept receivers. Robot vehicles, either airborne or ground-mobile, will become increasingly important as carriers of in-theater sensors. They will be augmented by satellite-based sensor systems and systems operated by the other services.
The communications segment of C3I/RISTA must provide quick and secure transfer of information among all the various elements in the network. Preprocessing of sensor data within "smart" sensors, wideband communications at terahertz speeds, data-compression techniques, and network management will be among the technologies needed to keep up with this communications load.
For the command and control segment of C3I/RISTA, battlefield management software will give commanders a familiar language and graphic context in which to view information, make command decisions, and have implementing orders distributed to appropriate units. Other important command-and-control aspects of a future C3I/RISTA network will be joint operability with the other services and fast, unambiguous IFFN (identification of friend, foe, or neutral) for ground systems as well as aircraft.
Integrated Support for the Soldier
The increasing technical sophistication of Army systems will not eliminate the involvement of human beings. The individual soldier will have more complex tasks to perform with more complex systems. An integrated, systems approach to meeting the needs of the individual soldier is essential. The Army's current Soldier as a System initiative is a worthwhile beginning but needs to expand to encompass the full range of soldiers' missions and the enabling technology. Within this broad sense of a "soldier system" are three areas (component systems of the larger whole) in which technology will enhance the capabilities of the soldier:
Combat systems include the soldier's personal weapon and a "smart" helmet, which incorporates an audio system for communications and a visor for laser protection and built-in night vision aids. On the helmet or elsewhere, the soldier will have mission-specific options for sensors and sensor-data display devices, plus systems for navigation (mapping and positioning) and IFFN.
Support systems include a personal computer (perhaps shirt-pocket size) and protection from ballistic weapons (body armor) or chemical, toxin, and biological warfare (CTBW) threats. Vaccines and bioengineered materials and medicines will protect the soldier from CTBW agents and natural disease organisms. New medical treatments and computerized knowledge bases will improve trauma care for the injured soldier both on the battlefield and during subsequent hospital care.
Robot helpers will include specialized machines for hauling and lifting, airborne or ground-mobile sensor systems controlled by a single soldier or small unit, and perhaps even general-purpose systems to aid the foot soldier in carrying loads in the field and performing numerous other tasks.
Systems to Enhance Combat Power and Mobility
Long-range transport mobility will continue to rely on transport aircraft for quick deployment of light-to-medium forces and displacement ships for transport of heavy forces. To move adequate ground forces quickly to remote contingency operations, the Army must plan, design, and organize so that more of its combat power is air transportable. Sea transport will still be needed for heavy armored units to reinforce the air-deployed force and for the logistics support of deployed forces. Technology can help by allowing more systems and platforms to be air transportable, decreasing the logistics tail required to support combat operations, and improving control of materiel that is prepositioned or in the logistics pipeline.
In the battle zone, ground vehicles from transport trucks to armored fighting vehicles—including tanks or their functional equivalent—will still be used. Technological advances in the last decade have given electric drives, particularly in combination with advanced primary engines, more promise as propulsion systems for Army ground vehicles. Manned rotary wing aircraft (helicopters) will remain important in selected missions, although unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) may replace them in some roles and complement them in others. For example, helicopters probably will continue to be used for gunships and become more important in heavy-lift transport. But their scout
and observation missions may soon be better performed by a range of sensor-carrying UAVs, particularly as enemy air defenses improve.
The dynamic battlefield of the future will require a highly maneuverable, armored vehicle for both assault against enemy positions and defense against opposing armor—a system with the capabilities of today's main battle tank. However, new technology will permit future tanks to be lighter and more agile without sacrificing lethal power. Stealth technology, advanced materials for armor and for signature reduction, and new propulsion concepts can maintain or increase their survivability and mobility. These new technologies could be incorporated into a tank or equivalent system designed for air transport.
The next three decades will see the evolution from today's "smart" munitions to even more "brilliant" ones, whose advanced sensors and guidance systems will allow them to be indirect-fired by artillery or rockets yet have the accuracy to destroy hard targets, including heavy armor. An advanced indirect-fire platform with multiple options for warheads is needed to give light and medium forces the capability to hold ground and interdict a much heavier and more numerous force. One warhead option is a brilliant munition able to attack moving armor; another is a less smart, high-explosive munition for attacking softer targets to an accuracy of 10 m.
Directed energy weapons that use laser or high-powered microwave beams will be available for battlefield applications. Within the time horizon of this study, they will be antisensor weapons, which are designed to destroy or temporarily blind the sensors of threat vehicles. Directed energy weapons with sufficient power to attack the hull of even light-skinned aircraft and missiles are highly unlikely to be tactical battlefield weapons within the next 30 years.
In both mine and countermine operations, new sensor technology and sensor data fusion will be key. Miniaturized sensors and processors will enable the development of smart mines: mines programmed to respond to specific target signatures and activated or deactivated remotely. In addition to distinguishing vehicle types, this technology can be used to distinguish friend from foe. For countermine operations, a number of sensor domains, including thermal imaging, high-power microwave, and laser radar are already being developed for mine detection. New techniques, such as photon backscatter, will emerge. High-power microwaves and charged-particle beams are being investigated for both detection and destruction of mines.
Robotics technology also will play an expanding role in both kinds of operations. By having the means to launch a homing projectile at a sensed target or by being mobile themselves, smart mines will have
wider effective areas and the ability to attack even heavy armor successfully. On the other side, unmanned decoys that mimic the signatures of combat vehicles will "draw the fire" of hostile mines.
Air and Ballistic Missile Defense
An integrated "system of systems" will become essential for theater air and missile defense. The Army probably will not be the developer of all, or even most, of these systems, but it must be a principal architect of the system's elements and their overall integration. Ground-based target acquisition and interceptor systems will predominate, and the Army must have these elements integrated into its defensive operations. A wide range of potential threats—from tactical ballistic missiles to stealthy, low-flying aircraft, manned or unmanned, and stand-off platforms—will require a correspondingly diverse array of sensor systems and interceptors.
To overcome the inherent advantages of an attacker, these defensive systems must be coordinated into an integrated "theater airspace" defense with interoperability for all services active in that space. It must be able to distinguish friend, foe, or neutral unambiguously and sufficiently fast to allow successful interception. Many of the sensor or interceptor capabilities required of this system can evolve from current systems, fielded or in development, with the aid of anticipated technology. The integration elements for rapid detection, IFFN, target acquisition, and fire control will require new systems approaches as well as the best computing and electronics technology.
Systems for Combat Services Support
Health and medical technology developed for the military context, such as vaccines for indigenous diseases, better prosthetic devices, and artificial tissues (e.g., skin and blood), will yield benefits for civilian medicine as well. The expertise and continuing research of Army medical personnel in trauma treatment should be supported by cooperative efforts with civilian hospitals in creating one or more trauma treatment centers.
Other in-theater support systems that will benefit from new technology include (1) electronic terrain data systems; (2) improved tactical shelters based on new composite materials designed for the environment; (3) ammunition supply management systems; (4) munitions made "smarter" by advanced microelectronics and more powerful
by new high explosives; (5) improved fuel supply logistics through a computerized supply tracking system, engines designed to use locally available fuel options, and better means of refueling fighting vehicles on a highly mobile battlefield; (6) reduced levels of maintenance and repair, through use of embedded diagnostics in electronic systems, more durable materials, "smart materials" with embedded sensors, and automated inventory control for parts and components; and (7) a logistics and inventory control system for Army materiel in general.
Training systems for the individual soldier and entire units will continue to advance as more powerful computers, better software, and better understanding of human-machine interactions are incorporated into Army training methods. Simulation technology is experiencing revolutionary advances, and the Army needs to exploit it not only for training (which it has been doing) but also for design and development, analysis of alternative tactics, and assessment of training effectiveness.
In addition to training in battlefield skills, doctrine, and simulated experience, the future Army will need personnel trained in civic assistance specialties. Computer-aided instruction and knowledge-base systems for cultural, linguistic, and medical information are some of the supporting technologies for these noncombat missions.
With respect to personnel management, the Army will be able to extend psychometric testing from its current selection role to one of classification and career counseling throughout a soldier's career. Large-scale simulation exercises can contribute to a high level of readiness, even though overseas exercises will be curtailed and specialties will increasingly be provided by reserve units.
High-Payoff System Concepts
From among the many advanced system concepts described by the STAR panels and summarized in Chapter 2, the STAR Committee selected six as having particularly high potential benefits for the Army: (1) robot vehicles (air or ground) for C3I/RISTA missions; (2) an electronic systems architecture to provide standards and protocols for networking computers of many kinds in one large system; (3) brilliant munitions for attacking ground targets; (4) an indirect-fire system that is light enough to accompany the forces initially deployed on a contingency operation; (5) an integrated system of theater air and missile defenses; and (6) simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training.
TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENTS AND FORECASTS (CHAPTER 3)
The current status of technology areas relevant to Army interests was assessed by the STAR Technology Groups. Eight of these groups forecast advances likely to occur within specific technologies, in time for incorporation in fielded Army systems by 2020. There are eight corresponding Technology Forecast Assessments (TFAs). A ninth report, called the Long-Term Forecast of Research, surveys research that will open new vistas for future technology applications beyond the time horizon of the eight detailed TFAs. Major conclusions from each of these nine technology reports are presented below.
Long-Term Forecast of Research
Eleven major trends were identified as likely to draw from and have considerable influence on multiple disciplines:
The information explosion on the battlefield, and in preparation for battle, will continue as intelligent sensors, unmanned systems, computer-based communications, and other information-intensive systems proliferate. Major research results are likely in third-generation data bases, mixed machine-human learning, the theory of representation creation, action-based semantics, and semantics-based information compression.
Computer-based simulation and visualization will give researchers an increasingly powerful addition to traditional theory development and experimentation. Possibilities explored include a broad-spectrum physical modeling language, advanced modeling of nonlinear dynamic systems such as physical signal propagation in inhomogeneous media, and potential energy surfaces for understanding chemical reactions.
Control of nanoscale processes will give the physicist, chemist, and electronics engineer the ability to create structures and devices whose dimensions are measured in nanometers, or one-trillionth of a meter.
Chemical synthesis by design will allow chemicals to be designed and "engineered" at the molecular level, based on the relation between molecular structure and resulting chemical behavior.
A design technology for complex heterogeneous systems could yield new ways to design complex weapons and information systems. Robustness with respect to variation will be a design objective, but nonlinear behavior in the design process itself may require a technology that focuses on the design process itself, not just the product to be designed.
Materials design through computational physics and chemistry will combine the trends in computer simulation and the use of fundamental relations between structure and function to design new materials with specified properties.
The use of hybrid materials will expand beyond today's structural composites to the emerging field of smart structures that react to environmental stimuli much as an organism might.
Advanced manufacturing and processing will allow mass production of fine-scale materials. Nanoscale devices will be assembled into complex structures through organizing principles learned from biology, such as self-assembly and molecular recognition.
Principles of biomolecular structure and function will be applied in designing new materials.
Principles of biological information processing will be used to design new types of information-processing systems and to biocouple natural or engineered biological structures to electronic, mechanical, and photonic components.
Environmental protection will affect how the Army operates and how it deals with release of hazardous materials to the environment.
Computer Science, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence TFA
Major advances will occur in integrated system development, knowledge representation and special-purpose languages (such as battle management language), network management of diverse kinds of processors, distributed processing over multiple processors on a network, and human-machine interfaces. In these areas the Army must be prepared to invest in R&D for its requirements that do not have commercial counterparts.
Robotics will be applied to both airborne and ground-based battle-field systems. They may be fully autonomous, supervised by a human operator for nonroutine actions, or under continuous operator control (tele-operated systems). Airborne robot systems will evolve from current sensor-carrying UAVs and weapon-bearing missiles like the cruise missile. Ground-based robots will emerge as ''intelligent mines'' with advanced sensor capabilities, sensor data processors, and fairly simple weapons capability. They will be designed for specific missions, not as "androids" with the intelligence, skill, or versatility of a human soldier.
For the following technologies, the Army will be able to monitor and make use of advances originating in the private sector for com-
mercial applications: machine learning and neural networks, data base management systems, ultra-high-performance serial and parallel computing, planning technology, manipulator design and control, knowledge-based systems (expert systems), and systems for processing natural language and speech.
Electronics and Sensors TFA
The three electronics technologies predicted to have the highest impact for Army applications are devices operating at terahertz (1012 hertz) speeds, high-speed computer architectures capable of performing 1012 operations per second (teraflop computers), and high-resolution imaging radar sensors. Teraflop computing will require a hundred or more processors operating in parallel at terahertz speeds. The high-resolution sensors will require both terahertz devices and teraflop computing capability.
Major advances will continue in thin-layer production methods and in expanding the number of bulk semiconducting materials used for special environments and performance higher than the current silicon-based technology. At the device level, the emerging technologies include monolithic microwave integrated circuits, superconductive electronics, vacuum micro devices, continued improvement in memory chips, application-specific integrated circuits, wafer-scale technology, microcomputer chips for digital signal processing, and better analog-to-digital converters.
At the subsystem level, data-processing applications such as signal processors and target recognizers will be implemented with multiprocessor architectures and neural networks. Smaller, more capable processors will contribute significantly to radar systems, including synthetic aperture radars, and to networks of acoustic sensor arrays.
Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy TFA
In optical sensor and display technology, major advances are forecast for laser radar; multidomain sensors; sensor data fusion (performed in real time at the sensor); infrared search, track, and identification systems; focal planes designed for massively parallel data processing; and helmet-mounted or similar "heads-up" display techniques. In photonics (the use of light photons to transmit, store, or process information) and electro-optics (the combined use of electronic and photonic devices), the important technologies will include fiber optics, diode lasers and solid state lasers, electro-optical integrated
circuits, optical neural networks, and acousto-optics for signal processing and high-speed information processing.
Directed energy devices generate highly concentrated radiation to be beamed at a small target area. The radiation used may be at optical wavelengths (as in lasers), radio frequencies (e.g., microwave beams), or other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Biotechnology and Biochemistry TFA
The successes of biotechnology to date have been in medicine, agriculture, and bioproduction of specialty natural chemicals. Applications that could be developed and fielded within the STAR time horizon include deployable bioproduction of military supplies, biosensor systems, enhanced immunocompetence (resistance to disease and many CTBW agents) for personnel, novel materials with design-specified properties, battlefield diagnostic and therapeutic systems, performance-enhancing compounds, and bionic systems.
Gene technologies are methods to modify the genetic material inside cells. As knowledge of specific genes and their interactions increases, the techniques of recombinant DNA, cell fusion, and gene splicing will enable the transfer of multigene complex characteristics into cells and organisms. New substances and organisms with new properties will be produced, such as substances for discrete recognition of a particular organism or substance, compounds that modify biological responses, artificial body fluids and prosthetic materials, new foods, and organisms for decontamination.
Biomolecular engineering will use knowledge of molecular structure to create novel materials with specified properties and functions. Bioproduction technology uses living cells to manufacture products in usable quantities. The methods can range from fermentation, which has long been used, to multistage bioreactors. Targeted delivery systems are composites of biomolecules that have been structured to deliver an active chemical or biological agent to a specific site in the body before releasing it from the composite. They will be used for drug and vaccine delivery systems, special foods and diet supplements, decontamination, and regenerating or replacing tissues and organs. Biocoupling will link biomolecules or combinations of them to electronic, photonic, or mechanical systems. The discrete-recognition molecules developed through gene technology will have to be biocoupled to such devices to be useful as biosensor systems. Bionics is the technology for emulating the functioning of a living system with engineered materials. It will progress from current successes in imitating a specific biological material to eventual creation of com-
plex, cybernetic systems that emulate the neural systems of animal behavior.
Biotechnology offers advantages over more traditional engineering and manufacturing methods for creating extremely complex substances in pure form and for very compact systems engineered at the molecular level. Exploiting the potential of biotechnology for applications specific to the Army will require multidisciplinary research teams with competence in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and engineering.
Advanced Materials TFA
In materials technology, three pervasive trends are forecast: (1) use of supercomputers to design materials and model performance; (2) technology demonstrators to hasten transfer of new materials and methods from laboratory to production; and (3) materials and structures designed to serve multiple purposes, thereby replacing multiple layers of single-purpose materials.
Five materials technologies were identified for special consideration by the Army: affordable resin matrix composites, reaction-formed structural ceramics, light metal alloys and intermetallics, metal matrix composites, and energetic materials. These technologies are forecast to substantially alter the state of the art for many Army applications, including armor materials, ballistic protection for the individual soldier, and weight-strength relations for vehicle and propulsion system structural design.
Resin matrix composites are becoming less expensive because of recent processing breakthroughs. The use of ordered polymers for the matrix yields composites with improved mechanical properties. Further research in molecular engineering of polymers and in matrix composition may yield organic composites with the toughness of metals and stability at high temperatures.
Smart composites have sensing elements embedded in the material. Passive sensors allow the internal properties of the material to be monitored during manufacturing and later during the material's useful life. Active elements can alter properties of the composite.
Reaction-formed ceramics can be preformed to near the final shape of a structure. Techniques for reaction-forming are forecast to replace conventional sintering technology, first for specialty components and later for even commonly used, low-cost items. Other ceramic technologies that are advancing include cellular ceramics (with foamlike structures), fiber-reinforced ceramics, and thin-film coatings of diamond or diamondlike materials.
Although some aspects of metals technology are considered mature, research into structure-property relations will yield evolutionary improvements even in ferrous metals technology. New aluminum alloys (such as Weldalite) and new processing techniques (such as powder metallurgy for rapidly solidified alloys) have opened up avenues for future exploration. Metal matrix composites are being developed that use either steel or aluminum as the matrix metal. Addition of particulates or whiskers of other metals or ceramics gives these composites the beneficial characteristics of both the matrix and the added material.
Research on energetic materials for Army propellants and high explosives is focusing on organic cage molecules. Another promising area of research concerns methods to make explosives less sensitive to fire, shock, impact, etc., without sacrificing explosive power. Biotechnology may prove important in the production of energetic materials and in the biodegradation of hazardous waste products from their manufacture.
Propulsion and Power TFA
In the area of high-power directed energy, five technologies were selected for their high potential in Army applications: (1) ionic solid state laser arrays; (2) coherent diode-laser arrays; (3) phase conjugation for high-energy lasers; (4) high-power millimeter-wave generators; and (5) high-powered microwave output from pulsed multiplebeam klystrons.
For rocket propulsion, gel propellants are the most promising new technology for Army applications, although evolutionary improvements to solid propellants will continue. For propulsion of airbreathing missiles, turbine engines and ducted or air-augmented rockets show the most potential. In manned aircraft propulsion, gas turbine engine technology is again the most significant technology, for both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. For unmanned air vehicles used in surveillance from high altitudes, high-power microwave transmission from a ground station is selected for special attention.
For surface mobility, primary power production, methods of power transmission, and mechanical subsystems were reviewed. Two general conceptual approaches to vehicle propulsion, the Integrated Propulsion System and hybrid electric propulsion, received highly favorable assessments. The recommended configuration combines an advanced diesel or gas turbine engine with all-electric or hybrid-electric power distribution.
In projectile propulsion, the two technologies selected for greatest po-
tential are chemical propulsion by liquid propellants and electrically energized guns (either electrochemical thermal or electromagnetic).
Battle zone electric power includes primary power generation and technologies for energy storage and recovery. For continuous power generation, gas turbine engines offer more potential than the alternatives. Gas turbines for primary power and flywheels for storage would be combined with power conditioning units to supply the pulsed, short-duration power needed by high-power systems such as directed energy weapons. Rechargeable batteries are an alternative to flywheels for energy storage in both stationary and vehicle applications.
Advanced Manufacturing TFA
The next generation of progress in manufacturing will focus on the inclusion of information systems with the energy systems and material management systems developed previously. Intelligent processing systems use a control system to combine sensor technology with robotics. Microfabrication, which manipulates and fabricates materials at a scale measured in microns, will be complemented by nanofabrication , which does the same at the scale of individual atoms. Computer-integrated manufacturing organizes the single processes or workstations of a production facility into functionally related cells. Cells, in turn, are managed within factory centers responsible for system subassembly and assembly. The application of information systems to management across multiple production facilities is systems management.
These methods of manufacturing control by advanced information systems can be combined with specific process technologies, such as those described under Advanced Materials. Examples include distributed and forward production facilities, rapid response to operational requirements generated in the field, and parts copying from an existing part without the need for plans and specifications.
Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences TFA
The terrain-related technologies most important to the Army are a terrain data base that can be queried directly from the field and used to generate hard-copy maps at any scale; terrain sensing; and computerized real-time analysis of changing terrain conditions, which will use both the terrain data base and data from terrain sensors.
Among weather-related technologies, the Army will need atmospheric sensors flown into forward battlefield areas, either as airborne UAV
sensors or ground sensors dropped in place. Satellite sensors will be used for remote sensing by laser and radar imaging. Although the Army can use advances in civilian-oriented weather modeling and forecasting, it is also concerned with modeling and forecasting on smaller scales.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES IMPORTANT TO THE ARMY (CHAPTER 4)
The matrix shown on the next two pages is used in Chapter 4 to summarize the relevance of all the technologies covered by the Technology Forecast Assessments in Chapter 3 to the advanced system concepts discussed in Chapter 2.
Chapter 4 also identifies nine of the most important technologies, selected by the Science and Technology Subcommittee as a "short list" of special interest to the Army. These nine high-payoff technologies are:
multidomain smart-sensor technology,
secure wideband communications technology,
battle-management software technology,
solid state lasers and/or coherent diode-laser arrays,
genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules,
material formulation techniques for "designer" materials, and
methods and technology for integrated systems design.
(See Appendix A for comparison of these high-payoff technologies and systems with other recent lists of technologies critical for defense.)
TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY (CHAPTER 5)
In response to the second part of the STAR statement of task, Chapter 5 recommends that the Army's technology management have a clear strategic focus and an implementation policy for how that focus can be achieved.
Strategic Focus for Technology Management
The Army should focus its technology development toward explicit Army system interests, as a means of exploiting advanced technologies more fully and of transferring new technologies more rap-
idly to the field. These focal interests for the Army should fit within the larger defense policy architecture of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The statement of strategic focus recommends adoption of specific focal interests. The STAR Committee identified seven major potential benefits of new technology that occur in many kinds of systems across all the functional areas studied and that were repeatedly cited as important to the Army's future. These focal values, which should be among the Army's focal interests, are affordability, reliability, deployability, joint operability, reduced vulnerability of support and combat forces (stealth and counterstealth capabilities), casualty reduction, and support system cost reduction.
Other candidates for focal interests were selected from among the advanced systems concepts discussed in Chapter 2.
The STAR Committee recommends that the Army orient the predominant share of available resources toward those technologies and applications that are not receiving sufficient private sector investment to meet anticipated Army interest. Furthermore, wherever possible, the Army should increase its reliance on the private sector for technological progress and products.
Nine implementation actions are recommended as means of realizing this general policy:
Commit to using commercial technologies, products, and production capabilities wherever they can be adapted to meet Army needs.
Focus the Army's internal technology R&D on areas where strong private sector interest is not anticipated.
Stimulate university research in technologies important to the Army that are not likely to receive adequate support either from the private sector or through other grant mechanisms.
Balance technology funding between exploration of new concepts made possible by scientific advances and the specific technological applications needed for Army systems.
Modernize the current inventory of systems, paying more attention to upgrading subsystems of fielded systems.
Design systems to accommodate change and upgrading during the "design life" of a system.
Seek to become the Department of Defense (DOD) lead agent for technologies of prime interest to the Army; consider taking on
roles in other DOD programs as a means of ensuring DOD activity in areas of technology with broad utility to the Army.
Revise Army procedures and practices to provide incentives for entrepreneurial small businesses to contract with the Army.
Improve incentives for the private sector to invest in DOD-unique technologies, applications, and specialized facilities.
In addition to recommendations for a strategic focus and its implementation policy, the STAR Committee recommends changes in two specific areas: the Army's in-house R&D infrastructure and the Concept-Based Requirements System.
The Army's In-house R&D Infrastructure
Shift, over time, from centers that focus narrowly on individual combat arms to each center having a broader capability orientation.
Ensure adequate organizational support for Army basic research.
Improve the work environment in Army laboratories in ways that demonstrate to the Army's scientists and engineers that their work is highly valued.
Make the most of limited funds for in-house R&D by promoting exchange of information with industry.
Attract talented technologists early in their careers and provide innovative career advancement programs to retain them.
Where possible, use rapid austere prototyping as a design and development approach for both platforms and subsystems, to confirm applicability of new technology and as a means to validate or modify system requirements.
Maintain a worldwide technology watch for advances in areas of science and technology with implications for both Army capabilities and potential enemy capabilities that need to be countered.
The Army's Concept-Based Requirements System (CBRS)
Keep the CBRS; alter the process. The essential intent of the CBRS should be retained, but the implementation must be radically altered. Specific problems are addressed in the remaining recommendations.
Open up the front end. The ''concept'' input to the requirements process should be opened up to technology exploration and to concepts built on notional threats and notional systems.
Ease up on Phase 1 specificity. Lists of "must haves" and "wants" should be identified early in the requirement-generating process, but final specification of a requirement should be deferred until data
gathered during development, simulation, or prototyping can be factored into the decision process.
Winnow as you go. Abandon the presumption that any requirement accepted in Phase 1 research is destined for Phase 4 development. To encourage innovation, let Phase 1 be accessible to more players, but make increasingly stringent winnowing decisions at each subsequent phase.
Test, evaluate, and redesign. Test and evaluation should be used as tools for learning from both successes and failures, with the lessons learned fed back into a dynamic design-redesign process.
Provide a vision from the top. Rather than the current bottom-up process of requirement origination or the alternative of excessive micromanagement from above, a clear strategic vision to guide the CBRS process should be communicated from the top.
IMPLICATIONS FOR FORCE STRUCTURE AND STRATEGY (CHAPTER 6)
Two time frames are useful when assessing the implications of new technology for force structure and strategy. In the near term (within the 15-year period ending about 2005), factors such as geopolitical changes and domestic economic issues will be the dominant influences on force structure. After that time, new technologies will affect force structure and strategy more directly.
In the near term, technology can ameliorate negative consequences of these dominant factors and aid in the force structure transitions required to meet them. For example, to meet the demands of contingency operations in remote areas, (1) advanced computing and automated planning systems can provide rapid battle planning, logistics support for rapid deployment, and better joint operations coordination; (2) combat power of initially deployed forces can be enhanced with advanced antiarmor systems; and (3) troops can be prepared for unfamiliar terrain with digital terrain mapping and for an unfamiliar foe with computer-aided instruction.
The Army can also use technology to prepare for enemies who have "gone to school" on the Persian Gulf war. They may attempt to inflict sizable casualties on initially deployed American forces, particularly on vulnerable rear-area concentrations. The mode of attack could range from urban guerilla bombing missions, as occurred in Beirut, to the use of CTBW agents, tactical ballistic missiles, low-flying aircraft and missiles, or overwhelming force. Preparatory actions include priority implementation of the Soldier-as-a-System initiative, expanded use of human intelligence and counterintelligence
measures, movement toward an integrated, interservice network for defense against theater air and missile threats, and fielding of direct-fire and indirect-fire systems usable by light forces at stand-off ranges.
The effects of expected budget reductions can be partially offset by increasing the combat power of the fewer forces remaining and providing them with better C3I. The Army will also need to develop a plan with the other services to reduce overlapping functions, so that each can concentrate on its critical missions.
In the long term, more than 15 years out, the STAR Committee foresees the following influences of technology on force structure:
Superiority in information management (winning the information war) will become even more important than it has been. The Army will need to pursue the latest technology and change its modes of information acquisition, distribution, and utilization, to make the best use of the new technology.
A flexible, multiple-tier force structure will lead, in particular, to a new conception of medium forces. They must be air-deployable yet able to hold ground against opposing armor until heavy forces can be inserted. Also, there must be flexibility to reallocate forces from their peacetime organization, so that existing forces can be used optimally for a particular contingency. Light and heavy forces will continue to evolve toward greater combat power invested in fewer troops.
Integrated defense against the next generation of air threats must protect U.S. rear-echelon support areas as well as forward combat forces, from both ballistic missile threats and low-observable, low-flying aircraft and cruise missile threats. The technology that opposing forces may possess, while lagging substantially behind U.S. ballistic missile or stealth technology, will require improved passive and active countermeasures in response. The Army force elements engaged in air defense will require close coordination with supporting elements of the other services.
As support and maintenance requirements change with the increased use of smart weapons and with improved durability and reliability of systems and components, the force structure required for these activities will decrease. On the other hand, force elements associated with the full range of C3I/RISTA operations are likely to increase. As the need for highly skilled technicians increases, civilian contractors are likely to fill more of the roles previously performed by Army personnel.
Training methods will use computer simulation technology and networked wargame simulations to ensure the readiness of both active units and reserves. Experimental test units, similar to Navy
VX squadrons, could provide both developmental and operational evaluations of new technology. Simulation networks will allow coordinated training exercises in which widely dispersed units, such as reserve units with specialty skills, will participate with active duty units.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (CHAPTER 7)
Chapter 7 draws together the major conclusions and recommendations from the first six chapters. The following summary recommendations are made to the Army:
Maintain the current level of support for research and advanced technology (i.e., the funding under lines 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3a).
Incorporate the STAR high-payoff technologies into the Army Technology Base Master Plan.
Include the STAR high-payoff notional systems among the focal interests for an Army technology management strategy.
Also include among the focal interests the values of affordability, reliability, deployability, joint operability, reduced vulnerability of U.S. combat and support forces, reduction in casualties and severity of injuries and disease among deployed forces, and support system cost reduction.
Implement an expanded test program to evaluate technological opportunities and notional system concepts, in support of requirements specification and design.
Evolve a "medium-force" tier by upgrading the combat capabilities of existing first-to-be-deployed light forces and substantially reducing the transport weight of heavy forces.
Allocate the predominant share of Army technological resources to areas not likely to be well supported by the private sector for commercial development, while fostering cooperative efforts with the civilian sector to maintain talent and provide training (as in Army medical personnel serving at civilian trauma centers).
Adopt and develop procedures, such as rapid austere prototyping, to expedite the movement of technology from the laboratory into the hands of its forces.
Plan to meet future mobilization requirements, including surge manufacturing capacity and reconstitution of forces, in light of expected reductions in procurement and war reserve material levels.
Lead, or participate strongly, in developing joint program plans, requirements definitions, and R&D in areas where there are opportu-
nities to improve joint operations with other services (e.g., airlift and sea-lift for first-deployed forces, C3I/RISTA systems, theater air and missile defense, and close air support).
Implement programs to ensure that the Army will continue to attract, train, and retain personnel of the highest quality in its advanced technology structure.
Modify the Concept-Based Requirements Process to accelerate applications of advanced technology and to accommodate the inevitable evolution of requirements in the face of new technology.